Installation Standard Procedures

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Concrete Pad

RicoRock® Modular Waterfalls are relatively lightweight compared to real boulders but should not be set on dirt or pavers. A concrete pad of 4 or more inches is recommended; an existing deck will usually be adequate for pool remodels.

The load factor of our smaller waterfalls is about 100 lbs per sq ft and is evenly distributed on the pad. Our larger waterfalls have an installed weight of about 150 lbs per sq ft.

A local pool engineer would have to determine if the waterfall pad should be separate from the pool structure or if the foundation needs footings.

There is no uniform building code for waterfall construction. The Loveseat Grotto and larger waterfalls have a steel structure that will need to have a bond wire to meet most building department codes.

img-concrete-padTypical Concrete Pad

– Deepened footing if needed.
– Optional reinforcing steel.
– Bond break at pool shell.
– Slope towards pool.
– Four inches of concrete.

This pad had to be raised to meet the level of the rock coping.

The plumbing stub is at the mid-point for most waterfall models, usually 32 inches from front to back.

We recommend the base pieces overhang the pool beam by 1-2 inches to minimize any chance of seepage under the waterfall. The base pieces and ledgers of all our waterfalls have a drip line but water might still run down the face of a rock.
If a waterfall is placed in an area of the pool with over 4 feet of water the building code calls for a handhold that is easily created by setting the waterfall back from the beam 2-4 inches but the beam must slope towards the pool to prevent seepage. 9 Inch coping is often used to create a handhold and extend the rock into the pool.

Mortar Techniques

RicoRock® castings are very dense, they do not absorb water so they must be set with a rich mortar mix. Most masonry supply businesses and home improvement stores have a better quality mortar mix or a mortar cement that can be mixed with masonry sand that will work well.

Mortar should be easy to trowel into place, not too runny or too stiff. Mortar beds should be about 1 inch, more for base pieces and less for smaller rocks. Scrub mortar to underside of rock for maximum bonding.

img-mortar-tech1 img-mortar-tech2


img-mortar-tech3On a radius or corner gaps will need to be filled. The small rocks that come with each kit can be used or coping can be cut to fit.



Let mortar set, do not smear fresh mortar. After it has hardened cut and brush away. A slight undercut makes a nicer look. Some installers use antique to age the joint after the mortar is dry, others like to use our Rainbow cement for mortar so it will dry the same color as the castings.

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